Thursday, October 31, 2013

Natural Sleep Remedies that Work

If you are having a hard time sleeping, there are things you can do to help you fall asleep naturally without having to turn to sleeping pills. Here are a few suggestions to try that really work:

l.  Have a bedtime snack.  I do it almost every night and it really works. The best bedtime snacks are:
    -peanut butter on crackers or bread
    -kefir with granola or cereal
    -cereal with milk

2.  Tire yourself out with exercise during the day, but not too close to bedtime
     -even adding just 10 minutes of movement a day can lead to better rest. 
     -vigorous activity will give the best results, so aim for cardio

3.  An hour to 90 minutes or so before bed you can take melatonin supplement.  Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain that helps control your natural sleep/wake cycle.  Be careful you do not take too much or you can disrupt your sleep cycle. Recommended doses are 0.3 -1mg of melatonin before bed. Melatonin supplements can interfere with certain medications so please check with your doctor first.

4.  You can also try Valerian root tea at bedtime. It is frequently combined with hops, lemon balm, or other herbs that also cause drowsiness.

Be sure to stop using your computer at least 90 minutes before bed if you have trouble falling asleep. The light from the computer stimulates your brain and disrupts your natural melatonin production causing your brain to think it's still daytime.

Have a bedtime routine or winding down and relaxing to prepare your body and brain for sleep.


My Secret Weapons Against Cold and Flu

Cold and flu season is here so it's important to keep our immunity up to guard against viruses and bacteria.  Here's my special immune boosting tip:  mushrooms and garlic!

Mushrooms, especially shiitake and Maitake, are packed with immune boosters and fight off colds and flu by boosting our body's immune response.  Garlic is a wonderful antiviral and antibacterial and should be consumed regularly and especially when you feel the onset of symptoms.

So how can you get more of this into your diet.  How about adding them to soups, or you can sauté them up with a little olive oil and red wine and add to pasta.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Going From Day to Night with Makeup

One of my YouTube viewers wrote me recently asking whether it's ok to reapply more makeup after work before she goes out for the evening, without washing her face first.  She said the only thing available to wash her face is the hand soap in the ladies room and should she use it.

Well, if all you have is the hand soap, then I wouldn't recommend using that. Some soaps contain detergents that can strip skin of important moisture causing dryness, irritation, and even rashes. Best to  just reapply some more makeup.  If you want to remove excess oil, simply pat the shiny areas with some toilet paper or a tissue, then apply more makeup. You can even use a little powder to help absorb excess oil.  
A good solution would be to keep some makeup remover toilettes in your desk drawer so you can freshen up easily and you're ready for happy hour!

Watch the Sugar

Halloween is coming next week so this is a perfect time to remind you to watch your sugar consumption.  It's so easy to just nibble here and there on your Halloween stash without being aware of the extra calories you are adding to your day. How many of us have to buy more candy right before Halloween because we've eaten too much and we no longer have enough for the trick-or-treators?

Well, you're not alone. Most people do exactly that, and Halloween marks the beginning of the downward spiral into the holidays where we just keep eating too many treats.  So be wary of your sugar consumption.  If you've been hard at work trying to lose weight, or to maintain your weight then stay true to your goals and be aware of the addition calories that are lurking in the coming months.

You don't have to be a total abstainer either. You don't want to turn sugar or holiday treats into the forbidden fruit, or take all the fun out of family dinners. Just remember moderation! Have a small amount and enjoy every bite. Go ahead and have a fun-size candy from your Halloween stash for dessert, just don't have 10 of them...1-2 is fine, and will nip your craving in the bud so you can carry on with your day!

Happy Halloween to All!!